The Most Popular Sports Video Game Franchises of All Time
If you’ve been keeping up with the world of sport throughout the last 12 months, you will be fully aware that it has been a blockbuster year. Lionel Messi solidified his status as the greatest footballer that’s ever lived when he led Argentina to a first FIFA World cup trophy in 36 years in Qatar last December.
LeBron James may very well do the same thing in a few weeks’ time as he leads his Los Angeles Lakers into the NBA’s Western Conference finals, and a fifth championship ring may very well just be around the corner.
In American Football, Patrick Mahomes has finally taken over the mantle from Tom Brady of best quarterback on the planet. He led his Kansas City Chiefs to a stunning come from behind victory against the Philadelphia Eagles at Super Bowl LVII and the franchise is now on the brink of dynasty like status. So, with, if you’re a gamer who loves sports, then you have a lot to be excited about.
There have been several sports franchises that have dominated the video game market over the years. Sports video game franchises are widely available and have become incredibly well-known throughout time. There are countless alternatives, including basketball, football, wrestling, and soccer.
This article will examine the five most well-known sports video game brands, what sets them apart, and why fans still adore them.
FIFA is perhaps the most iconic sports video game franchise of all time, especially on the British side of the pond. Developed by EA Sports, the beloved series was launched exactly three decades ago and is the best-selling sports game of all time. It’s available on every platform including mobile and its realistic graphics, user-friendly controls, and ability to play with teams and players from across the globe has seen it become a market leader.
Additionally, it features various modes such as career mode, journey mode, and ultimate team mode, which has shot to prominence since its release back in 2009.
FIFA Ultimate Team, or FUT as it’s known in the gaming community, allows gamers to build their dream team using players that can be obtained through in-game purchases. These purchases usually come in the form of loot boxes, which essentially contain a random assortment of players and other in-game items.
These loot boxes have been incredibly successful for the game’s developers, due to their gambling-esque nature, with the boxes – or packs as they’re known in-game – acting in a similar way to online blackjack games found on websites such as Joe Fortune, where players place bets and take risks in hopes of receiving a positive outcome.
What happens to the franchise beyond 2023 remains to be seen. The game’s publisher, EA Sports, was unable to come to terms with FIFA, world football’s governing body, on a new rights deal. It was understood that FIFA President Gianni Infantino was looking to secure $1bn for a four year deal, funds that EA Sports were simply unwilling to pay.
The franchise will live on under the name of EA Sports FC, but who publishes the game under the official FIFA name remains a mystery.
Madden is a franchise of American football video games developed by EA Sports. The game was first released in 1988 and has consistently been updated every year. Madden quickly became a popular game among NFL fans because it features real-life NFL teams and players. The game’s popularity increased after the introduction of features such as franchise mode, connected franchise mode, and – just like its soccer-based counterpart – Madden Ultimate Team
NBA 2K is a series of basketball video games developed by 2K Sports. The game was first launched in 1999 and has since gone on to dominate the basketball video game landscape, eventually winning its long standing rivalry against EA Sports, also used to release basketball video games throughout the noughties.
NBA 2K allows players to control real-life NBA teams and players and offers several modes such as MyCareer, MyTeam, and The Neighborhood. The game is known for its realistic graphics, smooth gameplay, and authentic basketball experience.
A professional wrestling video game series called WWE 2K was created by Visual Concepts and released by 2K Sports. In addition to allowing users to design their own wrestlers, plot lines, and participate in different modes like career mode and universe mode, the game includes wrestlers from the WWE universe.
Throughout the early 2000s, there were several formidable wrestling video games released such as SmackDown! Here Comes The Pain and SmackDown vs Raw. However, around the turn of the last decade, the WWE video games’ popularity was at an all-time low.
2K sports stepped in in 2014 and did their best to revive the franchise. However, they have even released a number of shockers. Nowadays however, it seems as though they have perfected the formula, with the recently released WWE 2K23 impressing both in terms of sales and in terms of reviews.